Staple Singers Co-Founder Pervis Staples Dead at 85
Published May 12, 2021Pervis Staples — co-founder of gospel legends the Staple Singers — has died. News broke today that Staples passed away earlier this month on May 6 at his home in Dolton, IL. While a cause of death was not revealed, he was 85.
Staples' passing was only revealed today, with Adam Ayers — a member of Mavis Staples' management team — confirming his death, Rolling Stone reports.
In a statement, Mavis Staples said, "Pervis was one of a kind — comical and downright fly. He would want to be remembered as an upright man, always willing to help and encourage others. He was one of the good guys and will live on as a true Chicago legend."
Born in 1935 in Drew, MS, Staples eventually relocated to Chicago alongside his family members, who would go on to become his groupmates in the Staple Singers. Pervis Staple sung tenor in the group, which also featured his father Roebuck "Pop" Staples and sisters Mavis and Cleotha.
As the Staple Singers, they recorded more than 30 albums, with the group best known for hits like "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," "If You're Ready (Come Go with Me)" and "Let's Do It Again."
In 1968, Pervis Staples left the group, leading him to manage the Chicago group the Hutchinson Sunbeams, who later became the Emotions. He also ran the Chicago nightclub Perv's House.
In 1999, Pervis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Staple Singers, who that same year were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2005, they also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for their "soulful voices, righteous conviction and danceable message music across the decades."